The Czech Republic president, Milos Zeman, recent press conference stunt reiterates his hate for the press as he held up a replica AK-47 with an inscription “for journalists”. This is quite an appalling move, considering that it’s just a week later since an investigative journalist was killed in a car bomb attack.
The fake AK-47 was boasted during a press conference after Czech Republic’s people elected their new prime minister Andrej Babis, a populist billionaire. Zeman said during the press conference that he would name Babis as the country’s prime minister.
But for the critics, Babis holding the prime minister’s seat isn’t a good sign because of his media dominance through the ownership of country’s two leading newspapers and even a radio station. They believe that with him being the prime minister now, there could be a lot of conflict of interests.
Babis’ success also makes another shocking discovery: the far-right, Freedom and Direct Democracy Party’s (SPD) surprising gain in the election which has positioned them as country’s political kingmakers.
Zeman’s stunt on Friday isn’t the first time he has pulled off something dissimilar. Previously, he called the journalists as “hyenas” and “manure”. He even shared a joke with Vladimir Putin that some of the journalists deserve to be “liquidated”. But it’s not just the journalists that Zeman is after. In 2016, he urges Czechs to prepare themselves for a “Super Holocaust” which will be carried out by Muslims.
This time, however, Zeman seems to have gone a little too far with this stunt as it’s just less than a week after journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed in the Malta Car Bomb.
According to Daphne’s friends and family, the state was at fault for her death as she wasn’t provided appropriate protection during her investigation. Daphne, who was dubbed as “one-woman WikiLeaks” was part of the Panama investigation and had revealed Malta’s prime minister offshore corruption, including the sale of Maltese passports and payment from Azerbaijan’s government.
Daphne’s lawyer Andre Borg-Cardona told the Guardian, “The State did not defend Daphne. This is a political murder because it clearly has a political context and the state did not protect a journalist who was in danger”.
According to think-tank Freedom House, press freedom has been the lowest since last 13 years. According to Freedom House’s Michael J. Abramowitz wrote, “It is the far-reaching attacks on the news media and their place in a democratic society by Donald Trump…that fuels predictions of further setbacks in the years to come”. He believes that “no president has shown so much contempt for the press as Trump”.
Note: All content is original & written by NewsCrux Team.